Unlike its predecessor, the Forerunner 245, the Forerunner 255 is a true multisport GPS smartwatch featuring both auto and manual multisport activities. It also has a long battery life, an NFC that enables Garmin Pay plus an altimeter that enables it to count floors. Furthermore, the Forerunner 255 is equipped with most of the newly introduced health metrics as well as features the multi-Band GPS sensor that improves location tracking accuracy. It’s clearly a step above its predecessor, and in this post, we’ll try to show you the differences between the Garmin Forerunner 245 and 255, and perhaps help you decide if you should upgrade.
Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 Full Specifications
|Garmin Forerunner 245||Garmin Forerunner 255 Music|
|Device name||Garmin Forerunner 245||Garmin Forerunner 255 Music|
|Device type||Fitness/GPS smartwatch||Fitness/GPS smartwatch|
|Predessesor||Garmin Forerunner 235||Garmin Forerunner 245|
|Successor||Garmin Forerunner 255||__|
|Released date||April, 2019||June, 2022|
|Display type||Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)||Transflective memory-in-display (MIP)|
|Display size||1.2 inch||1.3 inches|
|Display resolution||240 x 240 pixels||260 x 260 pixels|
|Pixel density||282.8 PPI||282.8 PPI|
|Input type||5 buttons, (Not touchscreen)||5 buttons, (Not touchscreen)|
|Customizable watch face||Yes||Yes|
|Dimension||42.3 x 42.3 x 12.2 mm||45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9 mm|
|Weight||38.5 grams||49 grams|
|Casing material||Fiber-reinforced polymer||Fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Bezel Material||Fiber-reinforced polymer||Fiber-reinforced polymer|
|Interchangeable band||Yes, 20mm||Yes, 22mm|
|Screen protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 3||Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|Water resistant/Protection||Yes, 5ATM||Yes, 5ATM|
|Swim-proof||Yes, recommended||Yes, recommended|
|Memory card slot||No||No|
|Bluetooth||Yes, and ANT+||Yes, and ANT+|
|Payment system||No||Garmin Pay|
|Heart rate monitoring||Yes||Yes|
|Menstrual cycle tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Under-water heart rate tracking||Yes||Yes|
|On-screen workout modes||No||Yes|
|Preloaded sport modes||Yes||Yes|
|Operating system (OS)||Proprietary OS||Proprietary OS|
|Type of battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery||Non-removable Li-ion battery|
|Battery life||Smartwatch Mode: Up to 7 days|
GPS mode: Up to 24 hours
|Smartwatch mode: Up to 14 days|
GPS-only mode: Up to 30 hrs
GPS mode with music: Up to 6.5hrs
|Charging type||USB charging cable||USB charging cable|
|Charging time||About 1-2 hours||About 1-2 hours|
|Battery saver mode||No||Yes|
|Compatibility||Android and iOS|
Check if your device is compatible
|Android and iOS|
Check if your device is compatible
|Companion app||Garmin connect IQ||Garmin connect IQ|
|Garmin Forerunner 245 Music||Garmin Forerunner 255|
|USB charging cable||USB charging cable|
|Quick start guide||Quick start guide|
|NOTE: We can't guarantee that all the information on this table are 100% correct. Read full disclaimer. Please, report an error.|
|Official Site||Official Site|
Forerunner 245 vs 255 – What’s New?
- Unlike the Forerunner 245, the Forerunner 255 comes in two sizes, 41mm and 46mm units.
- The Forerunner 255 is equipped with an altimeter that enables it to count floors climbed as well as show you elevation data.
- NFC is also onboard the watch, this enables Garmin Pay which allows you to make payments directly from the watch.
- Forerunner 255 features onscreen animated workouts and onscreen animated muscle maps. These two features are not present on the 245. The popular health snapshot is also present on the Forerunner 255.
- The Forerunner 255 has more gym profiles as well as features HIIT, yoga, and pilates workouts.
- New training features have been introduced to the Forerunner 255, this includes improved intervals, rest timer, training load focus, auto multisport, and manual multisport activities.
- New health tracking metrics have also been added to the Forerunner 255, this includes race glance, morning report and HRV status. While the morning report gives you an overview of your recovery, sleep quality, HRV status as well as weather, HRV status gives you a better understanding of your overall well-being based on your heart rate variability during sleep.
- The Forerunner 255 also welcomes new running features that include an ultra running profile, running power (doesn’t require third-party apps) and a race predictor based on your course and weather.
- New outdoor recreational profiles like hiking, skiing, snowboarding, XC classic skiing, stand Up paddleboarding and rowing have been added to the Forerunner 255. It also features up ahead, elevation profile and barometric trend indicator with storm alert.
- New cycling profiles like mountain biking, eBiking and eMountain biking have been introduced to the Forerunner 255. It also features bike lap and is compatible with a power meter.
- Unlike the Forerunner 245 which only tracks pool swimming activities, the Forerunner 255 now supports tracking for open water swimming. It will track your strokes, calories, distance, pace and swim efficiency (SWOLF) when you swim in open water. It also features other swim tracking features like time and distance alerts, pace alerts and critical swim speed.
- The Forerunner 255 has up to 12 days of battery life compared to about 7 days of the Forerunner 245.
In essence, the Forerunner 255 is a more equipped smartwatch than the Forerunner 245.
Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 Features Review
- Activity Tracking
- Media Storage
Beyond the new features that have been introduced to the Forerunner 255, it shares a lot in common with its predecessor.
In terms of design, just like the Forerunner 245, the 255 also has a fiber-polymer case paired with silicone straps while Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protects the display. Both watches have 5 physical buttons, 3 on the left and 2 on the right.
Both watches are also rated 5ATM, meaning they are waterproof up to 50 meters. You can wear any of these while swimming, and like stated above, the Forerunner 255 will now track your swimming activity in open water.
Display wise, both watches have a transflective memory-in-pixel display, although not as colorful as AMOLED is easy to read outdoors. The 46mm unit of the Forerunner 255 with a 1.3 inches display has a bigger display size than the 1.2 inches of the 245. Meanwhile, the 41mm model of the Forerunner 255 has a 1.1 inches display size.
You get lots of watch faces on the Garmin IQ store to choose from. You can also make your personal picture a watch face. These watch faces have a customizable widget that you can adjust to your preference.
The number of available activity tracking features is where the Forerunner 255 has the edge over the 245. The 255 welcomes new activity tracking features as stated above which are not present on the Forerunner 245.
With an altimeter onboard the Forerunner 255, it can now count floors. The multi-Band GPS sensor introduced to the Fenix 7 series is also available, this sensor enables improved location tracking accuracy. Moreover, as stated earlier, there is the health snapshot feature that gives you an overview of vital stats that include stress, spo2 and respiratory rate. Also present are onscreen animated workout and onscreen animated muscle maps which will not come to the Forerunner 245.
Nonetheless, the Forerunner 245 has lots of activity-tracking features. Just like the Forerunner 255, it will track your steps, calories, sleep, heart rate 24/7, respiratory rate, stress and blood oxygen. It also features other activity tracking functions like body battery energy monitor, fitness age and more.
Just like the Forerunner 245 music, the Forerunner 255 music also comes with 4GB storage that allows you to add music to the watch which you can listen to offline. Supported music services include Amazon Music, Spotify and Deezer.
Both watches will alert you when you receive a notification on your phone. You need to enable this from the Garmin Connect app to be able to receive message alerts on the watch and your phone must be nearby.
As mentioned earlier, the Forerunner 255 is equipped with an NFC chip that enables Garmin Pay. This is a non-contactless payment system that lets you make payments from the watch without carrying your debit card. Note that Garmin Pay is not available in all countries.
Garmin Forerunner 255 vs 255s – Which Size is Right For You?
Unlike the Forerunner 245, the 255 is available in two sizes; 41mm and 46mm. These two are basically the same in every aspect including price and have almost the same battery life.
However, the 46mm model is bigger and as a result, has a bigger display size. The 46mm model also weighs a little more even though both sizes are still very compact and lightweight.
The 41mm model measures 41 x 41 x 12.4 mm, while the 46mm model measures 45.6 x 45.6 x 12.9mm. Thus, the 46mm model has a 1.3 inches display compared to the 1.1 inches of the 41mm unit.
In terms of weight, the 46mm weighs 49 grams while the 41mm unit weighs 39 grams. The available colors also differ, the 46mm model is available in tidal blue and slate gray, while the 41mm model is available in light pink and powder gray colors.
Meanwhile, the 46mm model is compatible with 22mm straps while the 41mm unit is compatible with 20mm straps.
The aim of the two size options is to give you the end user a choice to choose the size that is right for you. In this case, the 46mm unit is a better fit for men and individuals with a fat wrist size while the 41mm unit will be more suitable for women and individuals with small wrist sizes.
- 46mm: Tidal blue and slate gray ($349.99) | ($400 – Music edition)
- 41mm: Light pink and powder gray ($349.99) | ($400 – Music edition)
Forerunner 255 vs 255 Music – The Difference
Both sizes of the Forerunner 255 are available in music and non-music editions. The music edition comes with 4GB of storage capacity out of which about 3GB is available for use. This will allow you to load your personal music as well as the option to add music through music services such as Spotify, Deezer and Amazon Music. You can listen to music with the watch offline via a Bluetooth headphone. This comes with a lot of conveniences especially if you are involved in an outdoor workout like me. Note that offline music requires you to subscribe to the mentioned music services
I hate carrying my phone along when I go for an outdoor workout, I just load the music to my watch, connect my headphone and off I go. It’s an awesome experience.
Because the Forerunner 255 Music allows you to load music to the watch, it’s priced higher than the non-music edition. The price tag on the Forerunner 255 music is $400 compared to $350 for the non-music model.
Forerunner 245 vs 255 – Should You Upgrade?
From every indication, the Forerunner 255 is a better smartwatch than the Forerunner 245. It has a more advanced elevate v4 heart rate sensor that enables increased accuracy as well as a multi-band GPS sensor that improves location tracking accuracy. Beyond these, you get more activity-tracking features and longer battery life. It’s clearly a worthy upgrade.
Meanwhile, the Forerunner 245 is still one of the best midrange GPS smartwatches.
Garmin Forerunner 245 vs 255 Activity Tracking Features Compared
ACTIVITY TRACKING FEATURES
|Garmin Forerunner 245||Garmin Forerunner 255 Music|
|Connect IQ (Downloadable watch faces, data fields, widgets, and apps)||Yes||Yes|
|On-device Connect IQ store||No||Yes|
|Text response/reject phone calls with text (Android only)||Yes||Yes|
|Real-time settings sync with Garmin Connect™ mobile||No||Yes|
|Battery saver - customizable low power watch||No||Yes|
|Controls smartphone music||Yes||Yes|
|Plays and Control Watch Music||No||Yes|
|Find my phone||Yes||Yes|
|Find my watch||Yes||Yes|
HEALTH MONITORING FEATURES
|Wrist-based Heart Rate tracking||Yes||Yes|
|Daily resting heart rate||Yes||Yes|
|AbNormal heart rate alert||Yes||Yes (high and low)|
|Respiration Rate (24/7)||No||Yes|
|Blood oxygen (SpO2) monitoring||Yes||Yes (spot-check, and optional all-day acclimation and in sleep)|
|Battery energy monitor||Yes||Yes|
|Relaxation breathing timer||Yes||Yes|
|Advanced sleep tracking/Sleep Score||Yes||Yes|
|Menstrual cycle tracking||Yes (in Garmin Connect™ and optional Connect IQ™ widget)|
|Hydration tracking||Yes (in Garmin Connect and optional Connect IQ widget)|
SAFETY AND TRACKING FEATURES
|Live event sharing||Yes (Android only)||Yes (Android only)|
|Incident detection during select activities||Yes||Yes|
|Spectator Messaging (New)||No||No|
|Assistance Plus (New)||No||No|
|Night vision mode||No||No|
|Dual Grid Coordinates||No||No|
ACTIVITY TRACKING FEATURES
|Move bar (displays on device after a period of inactivity; walk for a couple of minutes to reset it)||Yes||Yes|
|Auto goal (learns your activity level and assigns a daily step goal)||Yes||Yes|
|Sleep monitoring (monitors total sleep and periods of movement or restful sleep)||Yes||Yes|
GYM & FITNESS EQUIPMENT
|Available gym activity profiles||Strength, cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, indoor rowing and yoga||Strength, HIIT, cardio and elliptical training, stair stepping, floor climbing, indoor rowing, pilates and yoga|
|On-screen workout animations||No||Yes|
|Automatic rep counting||Yes||Yes|
|On-screen workout muscle maps||No||Yes|
TRAINING, PLANNING & ANALYSIS FEATURES
|GPS speed and distance||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable data pages||Yes||Yes|
|Customizable activity profiles||Yes||Yes|
|Improved interval (Includes open repeats, intervals data page, rest screen and auto detection) (New)||No||Yes|
|Downloadable training plans||Yes||Yes|
|Power modes - customizable in-activity battery settings||No||No|
|Rest timer (New)||No||Yes|
|Configurable lap alerts||Yes||Yes|
|Heat and altitude acclimation||No||No|
|VO2 Max. (Run)||Yes||Yes|
|VO2 Max. (Trail run)||Yes||Yes|
|Training status (lets you see if you're training effectively by tracking your training history and fitness level trend.)||Yes||Yes|
|Training load (your total training load for the last 7 days calculated from estimated epoc)||Yes||Yes|
|Training load focus||No||Yes|
|Training effect (aerobic)||Yes||Yes|
|Training effect (anaerobic)||Yes||Yes|
|Primary Benefit (training effect labels)||No||Yes|
|Improved Recovery Time (New)||Yes||Yes|
|Daily Suggested Workouts (New)||Yes||Yes (7 days)|
|Race an activity||Yes||Yes|
|Auto multisport activities||No||Yes|
|Manual multisport activities||No||Yes|
|Garmin Live Segments||No||No|
|Strava Live Segments||No||No|
|Round-Trip course creator (running/cycling)||No||No|
|Trendline Popularity Routing||No||No|
|Touch and/or button lock||Yes||Yes|
|Activity history on watch||Yes||Yes|
|Noopener Noreferrer">Physio Trueup||Yes||Yes|
HEART RATE TRACKING FEATURES
|% HR max.||Yes||Yes|
|Auto max HR||Yes||Yes|
|Morning report (New)||No||Yes|
|Race glance/widget (New)||No||Yes|
|HRV status (New)||No||Yes|
|Training readiness (New)||No||No|
|HRV stress test (measures your heart rate variability while standing still, for 3 minutes, to provide you with an estimated stress level; the scale of this is 1 to 100; low scores indicate lower stress levels)||No||No|
|HR broadcast (broadcasts HR data over ANT+ to paired devices)||Yes||Yes|
|Respiration rate (during exercise)||Yes||Yes|
|Available run profiles||Running, treadmill running, indoor track running, outdoor track running, trail running and virtual running||Running, outdoor track running, treadmill running, indoor track running, trail running, virtual running and ultra running|
|GPS-based distance, time and pace||Yes||Yes|
|Running dynamics||Yes (with compatible accessory)||Yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Vertical oscillation and ratio (the degree of 'bounce' in your running motion and the cost-benefit ratio with stride length)||Yes (with compatible accessory)||Yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Ground contact time and balance (shows how much time, in the running motion, your foot is on the ground rather than in flight and lets you check your running symmetry)||Yes (with compatible accessory)||Yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Stride length (real time)||Yes (with compatible accessory)||Yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Cadence (provides real-time number of steps per minute)||Yes||Yes|
|Running power (New)||No||Yes (with compatible accessory)|
|Performance condition (after running 20 minutes, compares your real-time condition to your average fitness level)||Yes||Yes|
|Lactate threshold (through analysis of your pace and heart rate, estimates the point where your muscles start to rapidly fatigue)||No||Yes (with compatible accessory)|
|PacePro pacing strategies||Yes||Yes|
|Course and weather-specific race predictor (New)||No||Yes|
|Foot Pod Capable||Yes||Yes|
|Preloaded with 42,000 courses worldwide||No||No|
|Yardage to F/M/B (distance to front, middle and back of green)||No||No|
|Yardage to layups/doglegs||No||No|
|Measures shot distance (calculates exact yardage for shots from anywhere on course)||No||No|
|Stat tracking (strokes, putts per round, greens and fairways hit)||No||No|
|Full vector map||No||No|
|Auto Courseview updates||No||No|
|Green view with manual pin position||No||No|
|Hazards and course targets||No||No|
|Touch-targeting (touch target on display to see the distance to any point) (New)||No||No|
|Automatic club tracking compatible (requires accessory)||No||No|
|Available outdoor recreation profiles||None||Hiking, skiing, sNowboarding, XC classic skiing, stand Up paddleboarding and rowing|
|Bread crumb trail in real time||Yes||Yes|
|Back to start||Yes||Yes|
|Around me mode||No||No|
|Distance to destination||Yes||Yes|
|Barometric trend indicator with storm alert||No||Yes|
|ClimbPro ascent planner||No||No|
|Trail run auto climb||No||No|
|Future elevation plot||No||Yes|
|Preloaded Topographical maps||No||No|
|Preloaded road and trail maps (New)||No||No|
|Preloaded Ski resort maps||No||No|
|Downloadable cartography support||No||No|
|Compatible with Basecamp||No||No|
|Sight 'N GO||No||No|
|Sun and moon information||No||Yes|
|Expedition GPS activity||No||No|
|Available cycling profiles||Outdoor biking and indoor biking||Biking, indoor biking, mountain biking, eBiking and eMountain biking|
|Alerts (triggers alarm when you reach goals including time, distance, heart rate or calories)||Yes||Yes|
|MTB Grit & Flow||No||No|
|Cycle map (routable cycling-specific street map)||No||No|
|Bike lap and lap maximum power (with power sensor)||No||Yes|
|Race an activity||Yes||Yes|
|FTP (Functional Threshold Power)||No||Yes|
|Compatible with Vector (Power Meter)||No||Yes|
|Power Meter compatible||No||Yes|
|Advanced cycling dynamics||No||No|
|Compatible with Varia Vision (head-mounted display)||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia Radar (Rear-Facing Radar)||Yes||Yes|
|Compatible with Varia Lights||Yes||Yes|
|Speed and cadence sensor support (with sensor)||Yes (ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors)||Yes (ANT+ and Bluetooth Smart sensors)|
|Available swim profiles||Pool swimming||Pool swimming and open water swimming|
|Open-water swim metrics (distance, pace, stroke count/rate, stroke distance, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories)||No||Yes|
|Pool swim metrics (lengths, distance, pace, stroke count, swim efficiency (SWOLF), calories)||Yes||Yes|
|Stroke type detection (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly) (pool swim only)||Yes||Yes|
|Drill logging (pool swim only)||Yes||Yes|
|Basic rest timer (up from 0) (pool swim only)||Yes||Yes|
|"Repeat on" rest timer (pool swim only) (New)||Yes||Yes|
|Auto rest (pool swim only) (New)||Yes||Yes|
|Time and distance alerts||No||Yes|
|Pacing alerts (pool swim only) (New)||No||Yes|
|Countdown start (pool swim only)||No||Yes|
|Pool swim workouts||Yes||Yes|
|Critical swim speed (New)||No||Yes|
|Underwater wrist-based heart rate||Yes||Yes|
|Heart rate from external HRM (real-time during rests, interval and session stats during rests, and automatic heart rate download post-swim)||Yes||Yes|
Hi! I’m Jude, the chief editor at Smartwatchseries.com
I’m a graduate of biochemistry, a 3D artist and a passionate fitness enthusiast. On here, I and other smartwatch fans work hard to help you find the right smartwatch for you with our guides, reviews, and comparisons.
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